BLACK TOP COMMERCIAL PARKING LOT
Is A CD PAVING & SEAL COATING Asphalt Parking Lot The Right Choice For Your Commercial Property?
Looking for parking lot ideas or considering a new asphalt parking lot?
These are all very important things to consider when it comes to a choosing a new parking lot.
- Which parking lot surface is best when choosing between asphalt, concrete or Chip Seal
- What are the benefits of an asphalt parking lot vs concrete or Chip Seal?
- What type of ongoing maintenance does an asphalt parking lot require compared to the other types of parking lots?
Asphalt Parking Lots
Whether you call them asphalt parking lots, black top parking lots, ash-phalt parking lots, tarmac or macadam parking lots
they're all the same. Asphalt parking lots are described many different ways.
How common are asphalt parking lots? The further North we travel in the United States, the more likely we see asphalt parking lots. The further South we travel in the United States, the more likely we see concrete and/or concrete paver parking lots. This is due to the amount of freeze and thaw cycles which occur in colder regions.
Asphalt is pliable, making it much more forgiving than concrete when it comes to heaving from freeze and thaw cycles. An asphalt parking lot is also very beneficial if you happen to live in a snowy region as the black color of the asphalt can soak in the heat from the sun and melt snow much faster than any other type of parking lot surface.
To install a new asphalt parking lot, in most cases, you'll need blue print drawings which includes sub grade material and preparation specs, asphalt mix design and installation specs, drainage specs, and striping and marking layout specs. In most cases, you'll also need to include concrete curb and gutter, sidewalks and handicap ramp specs as well.
In instances where your commercial property is not subject to city and county specifications, you can install a new asphalt parking lot without blue print drawings and engineering but you'll still need a solid drainage plan. A parking lot can shed large amounts of water and that water must be managed and directed to areas where it will keep from flooding neighbors, streets and even buildings. In this case, hiring a reputable contractor is critical to avoid future problems.
If you already have an asphalt parking lot and it's showing signs of severe aging and deterioration, or has a tremendous amount of patching and repairs and looks patchy, blotchy and uninviting, overlaying the existing asphalt or completely removing and replacing it may be in order! In most cases, this can also be done without blue prints and specs, but absolutely should be performed by a reputable paving company who will do it right the first time.
All parking lots age and deteriorate beyond repair and eventually become a safety hazard at some point. The goal with any parking lot should be to maximize the life expectancy as much as possible before having to completely remove and replace it. This requires a solid plan with frequent maintenance of every 2 to 3 years.
Life Expectancy Of An Asphalt Parking Lot
A properly installed asphalt parking lot with regularly scheduled maintenance can last up to 20 or even 30 years. That variation in age can be determined by the stability of the sub-grade, the quality of the installation, the type and frequency of maintenance, the drainage plan and the climate of the region you're located in.
Types of ongoing maintenance you can expect to perform on an asphalt parking lot?
Sealing cracks, patching, pothole repair, sealcoating and re-striping
A new asphalt parking lot should NOT be sealed until it is a minimum of 6 months old. The asphalt should then be re-sealed every 2 to 3 years thereafter to slow down the deterioration process. Deterioration is caused by the elements specifically, oxidation from the sun, rain and snow, freeze and thaw cycles and the amount of traffic the parking lot receives. The more traffic, the more frequent your asphalt parking lot will need to be sealed. However, only a quality commercial grade asphalt sealer is recommended and should only be applied by a reputable seal coating contractor.
Asphalt by nature cracks, and unlike concrete, there is no way to add controlled joints in asphalt to help control where it does crack. When cracks develop, they should be sealed with a hot pour rubberized sealer. Sealing the cracks will help to prevent further damage and pavement failures like alligatoring and potholes. Ultimately cracks should be sealed every fall when the asphalt is cool and they are open at their widest. The fall season is the optimal time for sealing cracks so when the heat from summer comes back around and the asphalt has warmed and expanded, the cracks are sealed tightly from rain and water runoff. Cracks sealed in the heat of the summer have the potential of opening up in the winter again when the asphalt has cooled and the cracks have contracted again, allowing melting snow and water to penetrate them. This is tough to avoid since most parking lot maintenance companies provide crack sealing services in conjunction with sealcoating, which can only be performed with temperatures of 50 degrees and rising. This is why in most areas of the country sealcoating is performed only in the summer months.The best maintenance plan should include crack sealing services in the fall of each year. This will most certainly save money long term avoiding costly patching services.
Choosing The Right Parking Lot For Your Commercial Property
When choosing between an asphalt parking lot and the other three types of parking lots, take into the consideration these things:
Budget Curb Appeal Climate Amount Of Ongoing Maintenance Durability
If the short term, up front cost is a deciding factor, asphalt parking lots are an excellent, low cost option depending on the size of your parking lot and the thickness requirements. The long term trade off however, is asphalt parking lots require more ongoing maintenance.
Also, take into consideration the effects of an asphalt parking lot if it's not maintained properly or how it can look as it ages.
Asphalt parking lots can be a beautiful and economical solution for commercial properties. They provide a very sharp, clean, sleek black look which is more inviting to prospective tenants and their customers. The black color of an asphalt parking lot is also very appealing for snow melt in the wintertime. The black asphalt heats up from the warmth of the sun and melts off the snow and ice much faster.
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